Category: Armenian Comedians

We are proud to present the following Armenian Comedians on Barahantes.Com, the Premier Armenian Entertainment Website


Rob Paravonian

Rob Paravonian on Barahantes.ComABOUT ROB PARAVONIAN

After growing up in the Chicago area, son of a first-generation Armenian-American school teacher who was also involved with local politics, Rob Paravonian went to college at USC in Los Angeles and now lives in New York. Rob writes and performs comedy and music and is a regualar at New York stand-up clubs and alternative comedy spaces. He also tours the country playing colleges and comedy clubs everywhere from Florida to Alaska, and from Maine to Montana.

Rob discovered music at an early age, learning cello at age six and playing it from grade school through to the Waukegan High School Symphony (yes, there was a Waukeagn High School Symphony). At age 10 Rob got his first taste of life on the road when the Grade School Orchestra went to nationals in Nashville, and at 13 he went to Florida with the High School Chamber Orchestra.

While in high school, Rob taught himself guitar and bass and began playing in bands, much to the dismay of his music instructors. While he was still underage, he played in bars in Chicago, Milwaukee, and once he went to college, the greater Los Angeles area.

Although music had been the bulk of his life up until college, as an undergrad Rob pursued his other passion and studied writing. U.S.C.’s creative writing program was headed by author T.C. Boyle and Rob focused on short fiction and novellas.

Rob also found a new love while in college comedy; and he began performing at wide-open shows in artsy cafes in L.A. (the precursor to the alternative comedy trend).

Comedy took Rob back to Chicago after college, where he studied improvisation and ensemble work at the legendary Second City Training Center. While in Chicago Rob became a regular at the Improv and began going on the road, playing the midwest clubs and headlining colleges from coast to coast.

Not wanting to limit himself to being a touring performer, Rob moved to New York where he has made a name for himself as an intelligent and unique performer. Rob quickly became a regular at Catch a Rising Star, has appeared on Comedy Central, VH1, has written cartoon theme songs, written and performed sketch shows and is on his third solo show.

And he still plays the cello.

source: Rob Paravonian’s Website

Kev Orkian

Kev Orkian on Barahantes.ComABOUT KEV ORKIAN

Kev Orkian is one of the UK’s most talented, up-and-coming comedians. A highly skilled pianist, singer and actor, he has been dubbed one of the world’s finest comedy pianists and compared to the likes of Dudley Moore, Victor Borge and Les Dawson.

Born in 1974 to Turkish Armenian parents, Kev Orkian comes from a long line of entertainers; His great grandparents were scriptwriters and introduced the first theatre show to Turkey in the early 1900’s, whilst his grandparents all played numerous musical instruments and one of them was also an amateur comedian.

Kev started playing the piano at four years old. Music came naturally to the young Kev — by the time he was 12 he had already composed his first pieces and by 15 had passed all eight piano grades — gaining a Performers Diploma in Music along the way.

At 15, after competing in many competitions and concerts, Kev decided to complete his training and move on to performing arts at Brunel University — earning himself a National Diploma in Performing Arts and Music in 1994.

From 1988 – 1992 Kev toured the UK with the Russian Armenian Dance Troupe as a way of connecting to his heritage. From the age of 23 he became very involved with the piano and it was soon an ‘instrumental’ part of Kev’s life. As a consummate concert pianist he toured with a variety of orchestras and appeared at many prestigious venues including the Sydney Opera House, performing classical repertoires.

However, the piano alone wasn’t enough, so with both comedy and the theatre calling him, Kev was soon back on the stage. He made his West End debut in 1996 starring in Fame at the Victoria Palace Theatre. This foray into London’s theatre scene led to many other roles including Me & My Girl (1996-1997), the Grease concert tour (1998), Buddy Holly concert tour (1998), Happy Days (1998 – 2000) and Boogie Nights (2001-2004).

Not wanting to tender his relationship with the piano, Kev Orkian spent his spare time writing and developing comedy routines that incorporated music but was never fully aware he could turn this into a full act until 2004. Kev decided not to perform in musicals for a few years so he could concentrate on building his stand up career, which ultimately led to combining the piano and comedy together. Kev Orkian’s heroes include Victor Borge and Dudley Moore (he has been compared to both), so he felt their styles of comedy needed to be brought back… and he was the man to do it.

By chance, Kev happened to be performing in Blackpool when a well-known act pulled out of the renowned Comedy Bonanza Show — in stepped Kev to try out his new material and the stand-up comedy act was born!

Since then Kev Orkian’s career as a stand-up comedian has gone from strength to strength. He has toured as the support act to some of Britain’s premier entertainers including Jim Davidson, Julian Clarey, Cannon & Ball and Joe Pasquale to name just a few. He has been involved with numerous variety shows including gala events for the Duke of Kent, Prince of Oman, Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Dame Vera Lynn.

Between 2004 and 2009 Kev made a name for himself in the cruise ship industry and toured the world with his Stow Away act visiting all continents, drawing rave reviews with numerous leading cruise operators along the way. From the Caribbean and North America to Europe and the Middle East, he packed in as many as 30 cruises some years.

In 2005 Kev released his first piano album Little Fingers, which claimed the top 10 spot in the AMA Instrumental category that same year. Kev has also performed many of the tracks from his album in numerous concerts and galas. In 2008 he hosted LA’s own Armenian Music Awards to a sell-out audience at the famous Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

Kev now spends a large proportion of the year touring with his one-man show, which features an energetic mix of hilarious stand-up comedy and spectacular recitals on the piano, many of which have been composed by Kev himself. Cities recently visited include Sydney, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dubai, Oman, Montreal and Toronto.

2009 saw Kev Orkian’s leap onto the UK comedy circuit with performances at London’s Comedy Store and the Jongleurs chain of comedy clubs at which he regularly receives encores, standing ovations and rave reviews for the originality of his act.

In August 2010 Kev Orkian takes his ‘Illegal Tour’ to the Edinburgh Fringe, appearing at the Underbelly, in his what will be his debut appearance at the festival.

Charitable Work

As an avid charity worker Kev has raised thousands of pounds for various charities, including the Willow Charity for Bob Wilson, Safe Hands for David Seaman, NSPCC, Armenian Orphans and the Bobby Moore Fund.

Through his friendship with comedian Jim Davidson he has performed regularly for the BFF (British Forces Foundation), touring Army and Navy bases around the world, entertaining the British and American Forces.

He is also a co-founder of the ITFO (International Trust Fund for Orphans), a charity that raises money for orphaned children around the world.

source: Kev Orkian’s Website

Garbis Terzian

Garbis Terzian on Barahantes.ComABOUT GARBIS TERZIAN

Garbis Terzian was born in Aleppo.  Since childhood he’s performed in a number of plays as an actor and a comedian.

Garbis aka Hoja was named after his great grand father who lived in Armenian Cilicia. Hoja was the teacher of his village and besides teaching a whole generation he humored them with old armenian anecdotes.

Garbis bases his comedy routine on over a hundred year old Hojaian humor with a twist of modern armenian comedic experiences.

Most of Garbis’s performances were dedicated to not-for-profit Armenian organizations.

Currently Garbis resides in Boca Raton, Florida where he regularly performs as a stand up comedian.  Mr Terzian’s upcoming tour starts in New Jersey with two performances.

A number of Garbis’s clips are available on youtube.

source: Garbis Terzian

Pierre Chammassian

Pierre Chammassian (Shammassian) on Barahantes.ComABOUT PIERRE CHAMMASSIAN (SHAMMASSIAN)

Pierre Chammassian (or Shammassian) (b. Beirut, Lebanon on the 9th of March, 1949) is famous in Lebanon for Arabs and Armenians alike, and also popular in the Armenian Diaspora. He regularly tours all over the world wherever Armenian and Lebanese communities exist.

He went on stage since he was 6 years old. Between the years 1962-1965 he started writing, directing and acting his first plays.

His first Armenian play was in 1971. It was a 2-man show “Paul and Pierre”. Between 1973-1985 joined Sami Khayyat and his group performing in Arabic, and he continued performing Armenian plays in parallel. In 1985 he joined Antoine Kerbaj in “Amrak Sidna”. In 1986 Michel Chikhani, André Jadaa and Pierre revived the Le Théâtre de Dix-Heures group. In 1996 André Jadaa and pierre left Le Théâtre de Dix-Heures to form the Les Diseurs group. From 1986 and on, they performed 20 plays.

In 1987 Pierre was in a comedy series “Al Bernayta” on the Lebanese television station TL. On the same TV station he also had an Arabic “Wheel of Fortune” in 1990, and a political comedy series “Nashra Mesh Men Hon” in 1991.

When it comes to Armenian palys, he had some works done since 1966. Here is a list of some of the best known:

  • 1978 – “Bourj Hammoud 78”
  • 1979 – “Gadage Meg Tiz”
  • 1983 – “Amen Pan Chesvir”
  • 1983 – “1 Harsentsou, 3 Tegnadzou”
  • 1986 – “Bourj Hammoud 78 + 8”
  • 1987 – “Hagop Baronian Bourj Hammoudi Mech”
  • 1988 – “Amourinerou Mioutian Joghov”
  • 1995 – “Harses Pernetsi”
  • 2000 – “Shad Mi Kharner”
  • 2005 – “Batal Dan Pesa”
  • 2005 – Stand-up comedy “Ha Ha Ha Night”
  • 2006 – Stand-up comedy “Achen Tsakhen”
  • 2006 – “Portsank Batal”
  • 2007 – Stand-up comedy “Lezoun Vosgor Chouni”

Since 2000 all his plays are written and directed by him.

In 1976 Pierre marries Ardemis Beudjekian and they have a son, Jerome and a daughter, Eliza.

Pierre doesn’t consider himself an actor. He’s an intertainer. He says he was born an intertainer. He hates sad faces and tries to be a smile distributor!

Pierre likes everything that has to do with comedy. The difference in performing stand-up comedies is that there’s more interactivity with the audience.

If you compare Pierre Shammassian with other stand-up comedy performers, you see that he also tries his best to look and sound like the characters inside the jokes. There’s no secret. It’s all about talent. He thinks the shortest jokes are the best ones.

Since 2000, André Jadaa and Pierre own the Olympia theatre and restaurant. It’s a 360 people capacity all seated.

source: Pierre Chammassian’s Website

Krikor Satamian

Krikorian Satamian on Barahantes.ComABOUT KRIKOR SATAMIAN

Krikor Satamian is a graduate of the American University of Beirut (AUB). Attended the “London School of Film Technique” and the “Bristol Old Vic Theater School”. After one season of acting at the Belgrade Theater in Coventry City, England, he returned to Lebanon to take up the positions of Artistic Director of the renowned AGBU Vahram Papazian Theater Company, and Lecturer of Drama at AUB.

In 1972 he took the Papazian company on a successful tour of Armenia and in 1975 to France, England and Cyprus. Upon the invitation of the “Bristol Old Vic Theater School”, he went to teach at his former theater school before immigrating to the US in 1976 and joining the famous “Colonnades Theater Lab.” in New York City as one of its resident directors. Directing his first play for the Off-Broadway company, he was invited to the “Hope Summer Repertory Company” to direct on three consecutive occasions. A year later he joined the Armenian General Benevolent Union in New York City as its National Artistic Director and since then he has founded several AGBU theater companies in Boston, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. He was the Managing Director and host of the “Spotlight Armenians” TV program in New York City. In 1981 he appeared as Azmi Bey in the film “Assignment Berlin” and in 1988 in “Chickpeas” Off-Broadway he appeared with the Classic Theater in Shirvanzadeh’s “Evil Spirit”, in the demanding role of Kij-Taniel and in Nishan Parlakian’s “Grandma Pray For Me” in the lead role of Deacon. In 1988 he moved to the AGBU in Los Angeles and took over the Ardavazt Theater Company as its Artistic Director. Krikor Satamian has so far directed 75 plays, three operettas, and acted in 85 plays.

He also participates in professional American productions whenever time permits. In 1992 he acted in the successful AGBU professional production of “Three Acts of Love” in English. In 1995 he played a character role in the American film entitled “Subterfuge”. Directed by Herb Freed. On January 9, 1997, he appeared with Brooke Shields in the NBC weekly sitcom “Suddenly Susan” and on March 27, 1997, he appeared in the NBC weekly sitcom “The Naked Truth” starring Tea Leoni and George Wendt. On February 28, 1998, he played the role of a Russian mafia boss in the “Team Knight Rider” on UPN 13, and in October and November of 1998 he played the part of Nikos in Raffi Arzoomanian’s “The Moths” at the Hudson Backstage Theater in Hollywood. In November 1998 he played a major role in the film “Pedestrians”. followed by a cameo appearance on “Mad TV” on Fox 11. Recently he played a character role in the film “Enemies of Laughter” directed by Joey Travolta and supporting roles in two other American films “After Freedom” directed by Vahe Babayan and “Pomegranate” directed by Greg Kuzirian. He has also appeared in one episode of “24” and “Alias” TV series. Recently he played a cameo role in the film “Must Love Dogs” with Diane Lane. John Cusack, Christopher Plummer and directed by Gary David Goldberg.

source: http://www.vdf329.com/biography.htm

Vahe Berberian

ABOUT VAHE BERBERIAN

At 6′2,” Vahé, with his long, soft-gray, braided hair and strong, angular features immediately attracts attention. But, it his personality and his work that captures peoples’ hearts. Vahé Berberian, an Armenian painter, author, playwright and actor, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1955. He grew up in Beirut in an intellectual milieu. His parents’ home was a meeting place open to friends from the worlds of theater, literature and the arts. He later relocated to Los Angeles, where he has been a resident since 1976. Vahé studied art in both Lebanon and the United States; and he received a degree in journalism with honors in 1980.

“I find it hard to label myself with an ‘ism’ that would categorize my painting style,” says Berberian. “I believe that any attempt of recreating reality would be simple illustration,” he says. “An artist creates his own reality, and reality, according to Aragon, is that which has no contradictions. It entails no conscious thought, creating without boundaries and laws. No conscious thought means no doubts, which means you’re in a reality that is fascinating.”

vahe2.jpgVahé has participated in more than 30 individual and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. “His work is about who he is.” Caroline Lais-Tufenkian, the curator of Vahé’s most recent one-man show, says, “Berberian is successfully working from his hybrid cultural background. Several components have been the key in the construction of his complex and rich aesthetic identity: His cross-cultural background, modern abstract expressions and him being a Los Angeles artist. Berberian offers a new dialect to the western artistic style of abstract expressionism.”

“I express myself simply to keep my sanity.”

Berberian has always painted as a complement to writing and acting, never able to forfeit one form of art for another. “Theatre is conditional on what others do, and its temporality is limiting, whereas painting is personal, direct and does not need a mediator. However, each form feeds on the other, pushing its influence into the world of the other.”

Berberian’s artwork has made its way into the presitigious homes of collectors, such as Opera Director, Peter Sellars; actress, Mariett Hartley; former Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ernest Fleischmann; Canadian filmmaker, Atom Egoyan; Paris fashion designer, Sonia Rykel; Paris publishers, Alain and Raymonde Nave; architect, Frank Israel among others. Vahé’s works have also been displayed in films, such as I Am Legend, Ocean’s 13, Inside Man, Adaptation, Spiderman 1, 2 & 3, Jersey Girl, Permanent Midnight, Jawbreaker, Executive Power, and Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her. His work has also been featured in the Emmy-winning series 24 and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

source: Vahe Berberian’s Website

Ara “The Baze” Basil

ABOUT ARA “THE BAZE” BASIL

Ara Basil is of Armenian descent and a Hollywood native who is no stranger to the entertainment industry. His next door neighbor growing up was the guy who played BJ’s stunt double in BJ and the Bear! After passing high school on a technicality, he wanted to try directing and went to film school. After two student films and nothing to show for it, he entered the world of comedy because he had a knack for making people laugh.

Ara was able to harness his raw talent and transform himself into a comedian poised to make a big splash on the professional Stand Up circuit. In no time he was performing alongside experienced comedians holding his own and delivering a killer show on stage.

He performs annually in “Laughter for Life”, a charity showcase for the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry alongside Sam Tripoli and others. Since then, Ara has performed for countless benefits, festivals, and award shows all over the United States. He was asked to be the feature act for the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour in 2006, sharing the stage with Maz Jobrani, Aron Kader, and Ahmed Ahmed. Ara has also performed in the (Sultans Of Satire Comedy tour). Ara is currently preparing to take his act north of the border to Montreal and Toronto with Angelo Tsarouchas, a very funny Greek Comedian.

Ara’s material is rich with Middle Eastern and Western Humor. He provides an intellectual, entertaining, and insightful view of the follies of the two cultures. Ara Basil can be seen regularly at comedy clubs all over Los Angeles but frequents the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory on the Sunset Strip, the Improv on Melrose, the Icehouse in Pasadena, and the HAHA Cafe in North Hollywood.

Source: Ara Basil’s Website